The terms “IT security” and “information security” are sometimes used interchangeably, which causes a lot of confusion for many individuals without a technological background. They both sound incredibly similar, but they do have their differences. The first step in understanding what they are and why they’re important is to start to learn what makes them different from each other.
Today, we’ll look at what sets them apart, starting with IT Security.
What is IT Security?
IT Security encompasses information security, as well as a third type of security called cybersecurity. Although it specifically has to do with the protection of digital data and the security maintenance of the computers and networks that store it.
IT security can cover all internal and external threats, and the term is commonly used to describe the strategies used in order to defend a company’s digital data from attack at every single point of an organization’s IT infrastructure. This includes company databases all the way to end-user email accounts.
IT security is essential to many businesses all over the world. This is because since the Internet was invented, many hackers have tried to develop newer and newer ways to gain access to sensitive information.
There are a few different subsets of cybersecurity that IT security covers. These are:
This protects your hardware and software networks from unauthorized users. This is seen as the most important subsection of IT security, because these networks contain the data that the IT strategy is protecting.
This type of security protects against cyber criminals who want to steal your data from your servers and databases.
This is also known as internet security. It has to do with protecting any critical data that is sent over the internet. Cybersecurity uses software like antivirus or firewalls in order to mitigate any online threats.
This is usually conducted during the developmental stage of app making. Developers make sure that they take the right measures that the app maintains security and doesn’t let any vulnerabilities become exploited.
Endpoint users can be considered the most difficult security threats to guard against. This is because they can easily jeopardize the security of a network by accidentally letting in viruses or allowing sensitive content to leak.
What is Information Security (InfoSec)?
At the basic understanding, InfoSec refers to the protection of physical and electronic data. The term Information Security is also extended to other security concerns as well, for example, when a company uses measures to protect its legal and financial interests by complying to data protection laws.
Information security follows the same set of principles that the C.I.A. stands for: confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Confidentiality: refers to the element that probably comes to mind when you hear the term information security. Data becomes confidential when only those authorized to access it are able to. To make sure data is confidential, you will have to make sure that you can identify who is trying to access it and block any attempts that are unauthorized.
Integrity: means keeping the data in its correct state and preventing it from being inappropriately altered, by accident or maliciously. In most cases, the techniques used to ensure confidentiality also protect data integrity. Hackers cannot alter data they can’t gain access to, after all.
Availability: mirrors confidentiality. The same way that you must make sure your data cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals, you need to make sure it’s available for those with permission.
The Difference Between IT Security and Information Security
While the two might sound very similar, they are technically two types of security. Information security is the processes and tools that are intended to protect sensitive business information from unauthorized users. IT security, on the other hand is the securing of digital data through computer network security.
The threats to IT security and information security also take on a different shape.
- Threats to IT security include:
- Malware such as ransomware, spyware, viruses and others.
- Phishing (social engineering attacks)
- Hackers and predators
- Hidden backdoor programs
- Unpatched security vulnerabilities
- Unknown security bugs in software or programming
- loT devices
- Own endpoint users
Threats to information security can include:
- Any technology that has weak security
- Social media attacks (“water holing”)
- Third-party entry
- Mobile malware
- Neglecting the correct configuration
- Outdated security software
- Social engineering
- No encryption
- Storing corporate data on personal devices
- Inadequate security technology
Learning about what the biggest threats to your information and network are the first things you should do in order to protect you and your customers’ sensitive information. But it takes hard work, expertise and the ability to be proactive when it comes to minimizing any of your security risks.
Karthik Talwar is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring new places and trying new foods.